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feeding corn....

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eric

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recently bought 4 cows (2-4yrs old) and I have been giving them range cubes to get them used to my voice, and I was wondering if it was a good idea to give them some corn also...maybe a gallon bucket or so every few days. They have hay available all the time and I give them cubes every afternoon when I get home from work. Corn, good idea or not? And if its o k , should it be cracked or whole corn, not much different in price!
 

D.R. Cattle

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You could feed corn, but as long as you are going to be buying a sack of feed, you might as well buy a blended feed with a molasses base (sweet feed). Your cows will run you down to get at it, and it has more in it than just straight corn. Range cubes are good for them and generally have a high protein content, but they salivate over sweet feed.
 

eric

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I ran up to Tractor Supply after lunch today and picked up a few bags of cubes. I saw the sweet feed right next to the cubes, but it was labeled for horses, so I asked the lady working there if it was alright for cows, and she seemed to know less than me about the feed, so I just picked up a couple bags of corn instead.
On a side note, is there any difference in the feed from a feed store and the feed from TSC? I paid $4.74 / bag at TSC for cubes, and last week I bought a bag at the feed store near my house and I paid $6.50 / bag. It was Purina, but was I paying more for the name than the product?
 

D.R. Cattle

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Feedstuffs are just like anything else. Different levels of quality. If you feed because they need it, you should select your quality level vs. cost. Quality is based on the grains, and mostly the nutritional values. The cheaper feeds usually are low fat with minimal supplemental vitamins and minerals. But if you feed just to bring the cows in for observation, the cheap stuff works good. Cows can eat just about anything and are not as sensitive as other livestock. Sweet feed for horses is pretty much the same as for cows, probably just a higher quality. Be careful doing the opposite. Don't feed a horse foods labeled for cattle. High protein (like range cubes) can screw up a good horse in a hurry.
I used to get the "All Stock" from TSC, but it was a pelleted feed (dry with less molasses) and the cows didn't wolf it up like a sticky sweet feed.
 
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I have been feeding range cubes (20%) from Tractor Supply. Last ones I bought were $4.99 bag. Cheapest place I've found in Waco, Tx area. I can get 20% range cubes from 1 local feed store for $5.00 bag and $5.10 at antoher. The feed store closest to me wants over $6.00 bag.

I asked about buying in volume (2000 lbs), and 2 of the feed stores said they would discount them $4.00 a ton, but they said I had to take the whole ton. I just wanted to purchase in advance and come get 10 bags or so at a time.

Funny you mention horses and range cubes DR. Cattle. Everytime I pull through the pasture with an open bag of cubes, my horse will try and steal a few if I stop. I usually have to slap him out of the bag! Just curious, but what are the ill effects of a horse eating range cubes? Currently she is on 10% sweet feed. I cut her back from 14% - too much energy.
 

D.R. Cattle

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TX I never experienced the ill effects, but have been warned time and time again about horse rations being of high protein. 14% to 16% is considered high performance/competition feed. Anything over that is not recomended at all. I'm feeding 12% as a regular ration, and could probably just feed 10. My horses are getting lazy with the advent of ATV's. I don't think they are referring to a horse stealing a couple cubes. Hey I'll have to ask my vet next time she comes out to the ranch.
 

MrBilly

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See if the feed store will give you ton pricing if you buy a minimum of 20 bags. They do here in Georgia - on all bagged items purchased in "bulk." :roll:
 

Frankie

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eric":1yky5lem said:
I ran up to Tractor Supply after lunch today and picked up a few bags of cubes. I saw the sweet feed right next to the cubes, but it was labeled for horses, so I asked the lady working there if it was alright for cows, and she seemed to know less than me about the feed, so I just picked up a couple bags of corn instead.
On a side note, is there any difference in the feed from a feed store and the feed from TSC? I paid $4.74 / bag at TSC for cubes, and last week I bought a bag at the feed store near my house and I paid $6.50 / bag. It was Purina, but was I paying more for the name than the product?

Be sure whatever feed you buy is OK for cattle. It's still OK to feed cattle by-products to chickens, at least. I don't know about feeds for horses and hogs, etc. But you're not supposed to feed cattle by-products back to cattle (BSE). So if you buy something other than cattle feed, be sure it doesn't contain banned stuff.
 

eric

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yes, that was how I got the $4.74 price at TSC. It was $4.99 - 5% for buying 20 bags. I didnt really need that many, but my neighbor said he would take 10 if i wanted to go and get them. I only feed about 4-6 pounds a day, (4 cows) and here lately only when its been really cold outside, the rest of the time they just eat the hay and graze what ever is left of the pastures.
 

monkeywerkz

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We buy an oat/barley mix with the molasses, and the cows love it. We take it over in a bucket, and they'll try to reach through the fence to get at it. When we reach the bucket through, if we're not careful they'll rip it out of our hands. We usually add this to their diet a few months before we take them to the butcher, and it costs around $6 a bag.

- rwhite
 

Linda

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Keep an eye on the weight of the bags, too, when comparing price. We buy a rolled corn and barley mix from a local feed mill for a current price of about $8.00/80# bag. That's about the highest the price has ever been for that particular mix. I've paid as little as $4.00/80# bag in other years. It varies according to the season and the market.

I recently bought a few bags of sweet feed for my elderly horse at the local tack shop. These bags weigh 40#. They were on special in December at buy 2 bags, get two free. The cost for the two bags was about $11.00/bag, with two more free ones. At that price, I stocked up. No way am I willing to pay the regular $11.00/bag price! It's much more expensive, but I feed a scoop of it per day to this horse mixed with crushed bute tablets. It disguises the taste of the bute better than the mix without molasses.

We feed the rolled barley and corn mix along with hay to our cows in the winter when hay prices are high. The cows don't care that it doesn't have molasses in it. They see a bucket and start begging for grain.

Another local farm store chain sells a rolled corn/barley/molasses mix in 50# bags. I haven't priced it lately but the molasses mix is definitely higher.

I would suggest looking into finding a feed mill, even if you have to travel a ways. Ours is about 40 miles from here, but is on the way to the city, so I plan ahead and stock up when I'm going that way.
 

TXBobcat

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eric":3odzbmvt said:
yes, that was how I got the $4.74 price at TSC. It was $4.99 - 5% for buying 20 bags. I didnt really need that many, but my neighbor said he would take 10 if i wanted to go and get them. I only feed about 4-6 pounds a day, (4 cows) and here lately only when its been really cold outside, the rest of the time they just eat the hay and graze what ever is left of the pastures.

Is that 5% off a promotional deal, or is it all the time at TSC? I'll have to ask about it the next time I go in.
 
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